Now the dust has settled on the retirement of Floyd Mayweather Jr, the pound for pound king can look forward to his considerable ring achievements aging like a fine wine.
The 38 year-old has vowed never to return despite numerous reports to the contrary, and barring a belated comeback somewhere down the line, will be remembered as an all-time great amongst the elite fighters of boxing.
Reaching 49-0, facing the best fighters of your generation time and time again, plus getting out unscathed is unprecedented in our lifetime – meaning Mayweather can sit back safe in the knowledge that he has the lasting legacy he craved.
Mayweather’s ‘Money’ persona, coupled with his out of the ring antics, may well be the only barrier that has blocked complete adulation for what the American he has done for the sport, but surely it’s only a matter of time before everyone gives the five-weight champion the full credit he richly deserves.
Beating the likes of Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo (twice), Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez and Manny Pacquiao is not to be taken lightly along with the fact that Mayweather defeated countless world title holders throughout his 19-year professional career.
The only slight question marks against Mayweather are his first victory over Castillo and his triumph over De La Hoya, although it can never be said that the living legend didn’t find a way to win like he always does. Those two bouts can easily be pushed aside by dominant wins over Hatton, Marquez, Cotto, Alvarez and Pacquiao, who at the time were at the top of their sport and all holding versions of a world title in some form.
Even Pacquiao had scored a one-sided win over Timothy Bradley in the run-up to facing Mayweather, so it cannot be argued the Filipino was ever over the hill by the time they fought. Granted that if the fight was made in 2010 it could have been a much closer affair, but there should be no doubting Mayweather would have prevailed as he’s just too elusive and never takes any punches flush.
How can you beat someone you can’t hit? It’s a simple equation and one that will consistently put Mayweather in the bracket of being the best defensive fighter of all time.
Mayweather’s ‘TBE’ would be more like ‘TBDE’ (The Best Defensive Ever) – which is something that is completely undeniable and will keep him spoken about alongside all-time greats Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Archie Moore, Harry Greb, Sugar Ray Leonard, Willie Pep and the like – for as long as people mention the best boxers to ever lace up a pair of gloves.